Every year, the number of published research articles increases significantly. However, many potentially useful ideas are lost in this flood of data. Translational research provides a framework through which investigators or laboratories can maximize the likelihood that the product of their research will be adopted in medical practice. There are 2 recognizable models of translation appropriate for the majority of research: investigator driven and industry enabled. Investigator-driven research has more range because it does not have to consider the profit margin of research, but it is a slow process. The industry-enabled model accelerates the translational research process through the power of industry funding but is interested primarily in products with potential for profit. Two cases are examined to illustrate different methods of partnering with industry. IMRIS is a company founded by investigators to distribute intraoperative magnetic resonance imaging technology based on a movable high-field magnet. It took 7 years for IMRIS to make its first sale, but it is now a successful company. With neuroArm, a surgical robot, investigators decided to sell the intellectual property to an established company to ensure successful global commercialization. Translational research advances medicine by creating and distributing effective solutions to contemporary problems.
From: Advancing Neurosurgery Through Translational Research by Lacey et al.